Newport, R.I. — In just five years, the New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup presented by Rolex has become the world’s premiere international Corinthian sailing competition. Competitors from around the globe were effusive and unanimous in their praise of the third running of this event, in Newport, R.I. last September. “There is nothing similar which has this very close class racing of identical boats,” said Nick Burns of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club. “Every time I come here I think it’s the most fantastic event.”
“On or off the water, no one does it like the New York Yacht Club,” said Terry McLaughlin, the skipper of the two-time champion team from the Royal Canadian Yacht Club.
The fourth edition of the Invitational Cup presented by Rolex will take place Sept. 12 to 19, 2015.
“We look forward to welcoming the world’s best Corinthian sailors back to Harbour Court, the New York Yacht Club’s on-the-water club house and the former home of our 36th commodore, John Nicholas Brown,” said New York Yacht Club Commodore Thomas J. Harrington. “The Invitational Cup is the latest chapter in the Club’s century-long commitment to one-design racing. Competing in identical boats, with the final outcome depending solely on each crew’s collective skill, teamwork and preparation, is one of the most elemental and satisfying aspects in all of sailing.”
The Invitational Cup is a regatta for amateur sailors representing both their yacht clubs and home nations. It is a one-design regatta, utilizing the New York Yacht Club Swan 42. However, this regatta raises big-boat one-design competition to a new level. Most competitors charter boats from the regatta organizers, matched sails are provided for all competitors, and the rig tension is equalized and locked-in across the fleet. These steps collectively serve to negate many of the factors that separate the best from the rest in a traditional one-design keelboat regatta.
Winning the Invitational Cup takes pure sailing skill: the ability to start cleanly, shift gears swiftly, correctly adapt to the shifting winds and manage the rest of the fleet. With the boats so even in speed, it’s not unusual for the fleet to round the first mark stacked up, bow to stern.
The goal of every team preparing for the 2015 Invitational Cup presented by Rolex will be to match the level of talent and preparation showcased by the Royal Canadian team, which has never finished worse than second in the regatta. The most recent win was anything but easy for the Canadian crew (at right). They struggled out of the gate with three sub-par races. But a string of five straight first-place finishes lifted them back into contention. McLauglin’s team didn’t assume the overall lead until the final race of the regatta, beating a tenacious team from Larchmont Yacht Club by 6.1 points in the overall standings. England’s Royal Thames YC finished third.
Clubs from the United States will have the opportunity to earn an invitation to the 2015 Invitational Cup by finishing in the top three positions at the 2014 U.S. Qualifying Series, Sept. 2 to 6, 2014, in Newport, R.I. The fleet for the 2014 USQS will be announced by year-end 2013.